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Rishi Sunak Faces Heat As Labour Pushes Back On Petrol Policy Delay

The Labour Party has pledged it would reinstate the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 if elected into government.

Shadow environment secretary Steve Reed confirmed Sir Keir Starmer's party would reverse the Prime Minister's decision yesterday to delay the policy for five years.

Rishi Sunak made the announcement yesterday at a hastily organised press conference in Downing Street in which he laid out what he called a "pragmatic, proportionate and realistic" strategy for the UK to reduce its carbon emissions.

Speaking to Times Radio, Reed said today that Labour would "absolutely" stick to the 2030 deadline for phasing out new petrol and diesel vehicles.

"It's not just about investment, it's also about household costs. It's cheaper to fuel a car by electricity than by petrol and Rishi Sunak wants to stick with expensive petrol," he said.

The shadow minister criticised Sunak for "selling out the biggest economic opportunity of the 21st century… for Britain to lead the world in the green, secure, well-paid jobs of the future."

He added: "In doing that he's undermining business confidence and he's deterring inward investment and that's not me saying that - that is the captains of industry.

"The ban on sales of new petrol cars from 2030 is something that business and the motor industry have been gearing up to for years now. 

"There was a chance for Britain to lead the world, to bring in the investment that means we get the jobs rather than our competitors - Rishi Sunak has just thrown it away."

But the Prime Minister insisted today he is "absolutely not slowing down" efforts to combat climate change - after his changes to net zero pledges drew fierce criticism.

Sunak said he was confident climate targets would still be met when asked if he was prepared for legal challenges against his plans.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:  "We are absolutely not slowing down efforts to combat climate change. 

"I am very proud of our country's leadership. We have decarbonised faster than any other major economy in the G7, not a fact you hear reported that often."

By CityAM

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